BAGHDAD, Jan. 30 (AKnews) - Iraqiya List as decided to end its boycott but is in three minds as for what to do next.
The decision to return to the Councils of Representatives and Ministers comes after internal and external pressure on party leaders to reverse the boycott decision and resort to dialogue to resolve the political crisis.
The party, led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, has declared it will take up its position in the political process. As yet Iraqiya has not decided what that position will be.
The nominally secular but predominantly Sunni opposition party has given itself three options. One is to leave the unity government and become a formal opposition.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law Coalition have been in an uneasy government with arch opponents Iraqiya and a caucus of Kurdish Representatives. Although Iraqiya has lost some members over the past weeks of political turmoil and their boycott it remains a significant power in Baghdad.
Without Iraqiya members in the government legsilation will be much more difficult. But an unnamed official believes the already shakey party bonds could snap and factions withing Iraqiya could split off if the party goes into opposition reports Reuters news agency.
The second option is to return to government and try to forge ahead with Maliki's SLC to resolve Iraq's growing political crisis. But Reuters reports Saleem al-Jubouri, Iraqiya member, saying the end of the boycott does not mean the end of the issue. "he problem still exists and it could blow up again at any minute," he said.
The third option is to withdraw completely from the political process - this has already been vetoed by the parties which make up the Iraqiya bloc.
Allawi's coalition has been keen to counter suggestions that it is going to form an opposition to Maliki's SLC. Prominent Iraqiya member Hamid al-Mutlaq told AKnews that not attending the Council of Ministers does not mean that Iraqiya has turned into the opposition. It is still on the table he added.
The political crisis in the country increased after an arrest warrant was issued for the Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi for terrorism offenses. He is accused of using his bodyguards as a hit squad, something he strenuously denies. The warrant was released the day after the U.S. Army left Iraq.
The tension Hashemi's warrant created was increased by Maliki's attempts to fire his deputy, another Iraqiya member, for calling the PM a dictator.